Words have meanings. That, in itself doesn’t surprise anyone. You can look up the meanings in the dictionary. But, I suppose that you know what I am getting at. The meaning is often deeper than that. Certainly when someone mentions the name of my wife, or people of my family it brings up pleasant images. The words don’t have to be proper nouns, of course.
What is the meaning of a “values voter”? We are hearing a lot of that in this election. So, are “values voters” the same as “Santorum voters”? Can a “values voter” be a Democrat? Can he vote for Mitt Romney?
I am sure that if I were walking the streets of some city in any one of the states that has a majority of “values voters”, individually they would come across as nice people. They might even invite me into their homes and, I am sure, that over a nice, typically American meal, they would share Jesus with me. I could talk with them about it — and would be willing to. I once read a book called the “New Testament” or the “Christian Bible”. I don’t know what they read — but am certainly eager to find out. I know they did not read the New Testament. I am sure of it!
I would ask these hypothetical “values voters” about such things as “tolerance” or “loving your fellow man”. In the version of the bible that I read, Jesus didn’t talk about persecuting those who saw their concept of God in a different light.
I would ask them about their concept of helping the poor. One thing that I have learned in studying religion is that whether you believe in any of the current ones (Judaism, Christianity, or Islam) they all believe in helping the less fortunate. I would ask these “values voters” all about their God – what does it espouse?
Now, since Christianity is a creation of some Jews, and they as well as Jesus, didn’t ever renounce the Old Testament (the Jewish Bible), I might ask this hypothetical “Christian” family why they served me pork products – forbidden by the Jewish god. I know that they would tell me that the New Testament replaces the Old Testament — so we don’t have to follow that anymore (Jesus never said any such thing). OK, fine with me. I might go a little further by asking about punishment for any transgressions of the Ten Commandments. The punishment for disobeying any of them, in the Old Testament, is death by stoning. I probably would be told that Jesus is a man of love, the New Testament put an end to that. Well, that’s OK, too.
I might then ask them about their attitude toward Gays, or maybe their attitude toward same-sex marriage. I know what they would tell me. They would tell me that it is a sin. Why is that? Well, the bible says it is a sin! Hmmm, there is very little about homosexuality in the Old Testament, and Jesus says NOTHING about it in the New Testament. Absolutely nothing! So, why is it a sin and, say, eating pork is not a sin?
Since I, undoubtedly, will have been thrown out by this time, let me tell you, the reader, that Jesus talks about mercy to those in trouble in 24 verses. He tells people not to judge in 34 verses. He tells people to love their neighbors as themselves in 19 verses, and specifically tells people to help the poor and spurn riches and the wealthy in 128 verses. Is it possible that these “Values Voters” have never read the bible or, at least, have not learned much from it?
Historians tell us that abortion was very common in ancient times, yet Jesus never once condemned it. He never once condemned homosexuality even though the ancient Greeks and Romans openly practiced and glorified it.
He never once asked the Romans to lower taxes or lessen regulations on businesses. He certainly never discussed the virtues of selfishness as conservatives today are so fond of doing.
I don’t necessarily care where people draw their inspiration. They can do it from the Bible, the Quran, or, for that matter, the phone book (it does have greater continuity than the bible). I do care about honesty. In spite of what Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and friends say, the Extreme Right Wing philosophy is as far away from the bible as is possible.
In their world view, if you are rich, that’s great, and you owe nothing to anyone. Anyone can experience the “American Dream” by simply choose a wealthy father as George W Bush and Mitt Romney did. Easy!
The “Values Voters” are happy to let the poor starve and the ill die from lack of any kind of reasonable medical care. Yet they proclaim their Christian holiness and denounce Obama’s theology.
To draw a comparison from history, these voters are no different from those who supported Adolph Hitler in the 1930s. Individually, some may have been very nice people. Historians (and a lot of Germans as well) tell us that most of them knew what the Nazis were doing with minorities (Adventists, Jews, Gays, mentally retarded, Communists, Socialists, anti-Nazi politicians, etc.), and they simply didn’t care, or chose to ignore it. I cannot imagine all that Rick Santorum or the Extreme Right Wing (ERW) might do if they actually gained a president as well as a majority in Congress but I do predict that very quickly we would lose our freedoms — with the ERW telling us that we are much better off now. Just like what the Nazis told the German people. Yeah, much better off.
The coming election is important (aren’t they all). We need to find the right person who can lead us out of our misery – or to reaffirm that we already have the right person already in office. It sickens me to think that there are so many people who think that our most important issue is to stop Gays from marrying – and the reinstitution of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military. That is not anything that Jesus would have done. To put it in religious terms, the “values voters” are the followers of the Anti-Christ.
[FOR THE RECORD: The bible makes no reference to Jesus condemning homosexuality. To be sure, there are passages which SOME scholars say that one of the disciples may have said something negative about it. These are the same people who made numerous negative references about women as well. It is pretty vague – and I have no intention in getting into a biblical discussion.]